Join former Miami City Ballet Dancers Rebecca King Ferraro and Michael Sean Breeden, from the popular podcast series Conversations on Dance, as they host nine intimate, in-depth discussions with Festival Artists from dancers to musicians to choreographers. Underwritten by the Town of Vail.
Tickets are on sale now!
Conversations on Dance Festival Forums will take place at the Manor Vail Lodge Piney Ballroom. Tickets are $25 each and will include light snacks and drinks.
At this time, we are requiring guests to wear face coverings at Conversations on Dance Festival Forums. Health and Safety Protocols for fringe events and masterclasses will be communicated to all attendees at least one week prior to the event. Protocols will vary based on the venue.
Friday, July 30, 2021 | 9:30am – 10:20am
JONATHAN STAFFORD, Artistic Director of New York City Ballet MOVES
Hosts of the Conversations on Dance Podcast, Rebecca King Ferraro and Michael Sean Breeden, chat with New York City Ballet Artistic Director, Jonathan Stafford. This live event will focus on NYCB: MOVES, including what has transpired for MOVES since they last attended the Vail Dance Festival and the repertoire they will be bringing this year. Additionally, the conversation will delve into Stafford’s role as Artistic Director of the New York City Ballet, including leading the company through its first extended break from performing in over 70 years. New York City Ballet: MOVES will perform on July 31st.
Saturday, July 31, 2021 | 9:30am – 10:20am
CALVIN ROYAL III, Artist-In-Residence
Hosts of the Conversations on Dance Podcast, Rebecca King Ferraro and Michael Sean Breeden, in conversation with Calvin Royal III, the 2021 VDF Artist-in-Residence, and a festival staple for years. They will discuss his recent promotion to principal at American Ballet Theatre, his years at the Vail Dance Festival, how he stayed inspired during his time offstage this past year, and his involvement in the Festival’s new initiative, “Empowering Boys in Dance.” Calvin will dance in many performances and be featured in Fringe Events throughout the Festival.
Sunday, August 1, 2021 | 9:30am – 10:20am
CHRISTINE COX: BalletX Beyond
Hosts of the Conversations on Dance Podcast, Rebecca King Ferraro and Michael Sean Breeden, in conversation with BalletX Artistic & Executive Director, Christine Cox. This discussion will focus on how BalletX has become a hub for new choreography, and how the company has navigated through the past year, with a focus on their approach to dance bubbles and dance on film. BalletX is the 2021 Vail Dance Festival Company-In-Residence.
Wednesday, August 4, 2021 | 9:30am – 10:20am
TILER PECK & HERMAN CORNEJO: Partners Across the Plaza
Hosts of the Conversations on Dance Podcast, Rebecca King Ferraro and Michael Sean Breeden, in conversation with New York City Ballet Principal Dancer, Tiler Peck and American Ballet Theatre Principal Dancer, Herman Cornejo. This discussion will be a deep dive into the past year for two dancers at the top of their respective companies and how they developed their partnership at the Vail Dance Festival, which will be highlighted in Justin Peck’s new work for Vail on NOW: Premieres, on August 9th.
Thursday, August 5, 2021 | 9:30am – 10:20am
MARIA KOWROSKI, Principal Dancer with New York City Ballet
Hosts of the Conversations on Dance Podcast, Rebecca King Ferraro and Michael Sean Breeden, join New York City Ballet Principal Dancer, Maria Kowroski, for a retrospective on her career with NYCB. The discussion will include a reflection on her meteoric rise to principal, decades of leading the company’s ranks, her upcoming retirement, and her return to Vail.
Friday, August 6, 2021 | 9:30am – 10:20am
CAMERON GRANT: Playing for New York City Ballet
Hosts of the Conversations on Dance Podcast, Rebecca King Ferraro and Michael Sean Breeden, in discussion with Vail Dance Festival mainstay, pianist, Cameron Grant. The discussion will delve into his history as a pianist for New York City Ballet for nearly 40 years, including his work with dance geniuses Alexei Ratmansky and Jerome Robbins, and his many years at the Vail Dance Festival.
Saturday, August 7, 2021 | 9:30am – 10:20am
JUSTIN PECK & ROBBIE FAIRCHILD: Empowering Boys In Dance
Hosts of the Conversations on Dance Podcast, Rebecca King Ferraro and Michael Sean Breeden, moderate a discussion on Empowering Boys in Dance with New York City Ballet Resident Choreographer, Justin Peck and Vail Dance Festival favorite, Robert Fairchild. EMPOWERING BOYS IN DANCE is a new initiative of the Vail Dance Festival in partnership with Arts In Society. The discussion will expand on their stories of growing up with dance, and reflect on the similarities and differences between their lives and careers as they’ve both gone on to continued success. Justin’s new work for Vail will be a part of NOW: Premieres, on August 9th.
Sunday, August 8, 2021 | 9:30am – 10:20am
CLEO PARKER ROBINSON: Celebrating 50 Years
Hosts of the Conversations on Dance Podcast, Rebecca King Ferraro and Michael Sean Breeden, sit down with Cleo Parker Robinson, founder of Cleo Parker Robinson Dance, in recognition of the 50th Anniversary of her company. The discussion will cover the way the company uses the language of dance to delve into subjects like the African Diaspora, social justice, and connecting people of all ages through art.
Monday, August 9, 2021 | 9:30am – 10:20am
LIL BUCK & LAUREN LOVETTE – NOW: Premieres
Hosts of the Conversations on Dance Podcast, Rebecca King Ferraro and Michael Sean Breeden, with festival favorites, Lil Buck and Lauren Lovette. The discussion will cover their new collaborative creation for the 2021 NOW: Premieres program on August 9th, including their rehearsal process and what performing with dancers of other disciplines is like.
ABOUT THE HOSTS
Rebecca King Ferraro was born and raised in Northern California. She received her ballet training from Contra Costa Ballet Centre in Walnut Creek, CA. King spent two summers studying at San Francisco Ballet School under the direction of Gloria Govrin. Her senior year in high school, she attended The Rock School in Philadelphia. After graduating in 2006, she moved to Miami to train at Miami City Ballet School.
King joined Miami City Ballet in 2007 as a company apprentice and was promoted to corps de ballet in 2008. Since then, she has worked with many of today’s most sought-after choreographers including Christopher Wheeldon, Alexei Ratmansky, Justin Peck, and Liam Scarlett. She has danced in the majority of MCB’s Balanchine repertoire, as well as classical full-length ballets and contemporary works. From 2010-2016, she served as a Company Representative on behalf of the dancers, a role similar to a union representative.
In 2012, Ms. King started her own digital marketing company, Rebecca King Ferraro Digital Marketing Management, where she works with businesses, individuals, and nonprofits to develop their digital footprint. King has taught ballet master classes across the country and is currently a freelance coach in South Florida.
Ms. King retired from Miami City Ballet in 2018, after an 11 year career with the company.
Michael Sean Breeden was born in Lexington, KY, where he began training at the Lexington Ballet at the age of 7. He began attending the School of American Ballet on scholarship in 2002, with additional training completed at San Francisco Ballet, Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet and Vostrikov’s Academy of Dance. While a student at the School of American Ballet, Mr. Breeden performed ‘Tarantella’ at Symphony Space’s Wall-to-Wall Balanchine centennial event, as introduced by Lourdes Lopez and Edward Villella.
Mr. Breeden joined Miami City Ballet as an apprentice in 2006 and was promoted to the corps de ballet in 2008. He performed soloist and principal roles in the works of George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, Frederick Ashton, Antony Tudor, Twyla Tharp, Paul Taylor, Alexei Ratmansky and Liam Scarlett. Mr. Breeden has joined Miami City Ballet on acclaimed tours to New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Paris. Michael also danced for Boston Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet, Oregon Ballet Theatre and Suzanne Farrell Ballet.
For 3 years, Michael gave interactive pre-performance talks for the Miami City Ballet that broadened the audience’s knowledge of the ballets programmed and allowed them to directly question the artists involved. Since retiring from the stage in 2017, Michael is now a repetiteur for Justin Peck having staged his works for Hong Kong Ballet, Ballet Arizona and Miami City Ballet. He has taught ballet for Yale University, Kent State University, Mark Morris Dance Center, Ballet Academy East, Ballet Tech and many others. He was the assistant to the director for Troy Schumacher’s BalletCollective from 2017-2020.